Every hitter likes the idea of a grand slam.
Evan Skoug especially liked the one he hit Saturday against Murray State in TCU’s 15-6 victory at Lupton Stadium.
“That’s my first in purple and white,” the junior catcher said. “I was pretty stoked.”
Skoug’s blast to right center cleared the bases and keyed a six-run third inning as the third-ranked Horned Frogs rolled to their 11th consecutive victory, a rout of the outmanned Racers of the Ohio Valley Conference.
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The Frogs took advantage of 15 walks, four hit-by-pitches and a wild pitch. They finished with only seven hits, but three inflicted heavy damage — Skoug’s grand slam, Nolan Brown’s two-run home run and Austen Wade’s three-run double. Luken Baker added a two-run single and a sacrifice fly.
Evan Skoug’s grand slam was TCU’s third in the past eight games. The three grand slams are the most in a season for the Horned Frogs since three in 2010.
“I don’t care how poorly the other team plays in terms of setting the table for you, in order to put together a big inning, you still have to get a big hit, especially with two outs,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “That’s hard to do. Baseball doesn’t lend itself to that.”
The home run for Skoug was his fifth, and it pushed his RBI total to 27, second best on the team.
Cam Warner and Connor Wanhanen also drove in runs for TCU, which is outscoring its opponents 93-37 in the past 11 games.
“It’s good for us because we’ve had some games where the offense hasn’t been up to its potential,” Skoug said. “We’ve had a lot of quality pitching. The days that some of the guys haven’t been as sharp on the mound, we’ve picked it up and scored a lot of runs. We’re just showing that we’re becoming more of a complete team. We’re building a lot of confidence all over the field in all aspects of the game.”
21Free bases for TCU on Saturday against Murray State. The total includes 15 walks, four hit batters and two errors.
Freshman left-hander Nick Lodolo (3-1) struck out six in five innings but finished his outing on a sour note by surrendering five runs in his final inning. The Racers (15-14) got two walks, a sacrifice fly and a pair of two-run doubles in the inning before a strikeout ended it.
Jake Eissler, Austin Boyles and Dalton Brown each gave up a hit in four combined innings of relief.
The Frogs close the series against Murray State on Sunday, going for a third consecutive weekend sweep, then play a nonconference game at Dallas Baptist on Tuesday before resuming Big 12 play next weekend at West Virginia.
Dubsky, Clynes (2), Arbeiter (4), Brown (6), Pennington (8), Perkins (8) and Lawrence, Chilton (4). Lodolo, Eissler (6), Boyles (8), Brown (9) and Skoug, Humphreys (7). W—Lodolo (3-1). L—Dubsky (2-4). 2B—MSU: Moore (11), Lawrence (9), Hranec (3), Perkins (5); TCU: Wade (7). HR—TCU: Skoug (5), Brown (3). HBP—TCU: Warner, Watson, Brown, Wanhanen. SF—MSU: Chilton (1); TCU: Warner (2), Baker (2). SB—TCU: Wade (10), Brown (15), Barzilli (4), Merrill (8), Wanhanen (4). LOB—MSU 6, TCU 13. E—MSU: Sims (7), Hicks (6). DP—TCU 2. T—3:23. A—4,780. RECORDS—TCU 25-5; MSU 15-15.